My students rarely ask if they should wait until after their dance to start drinking at their wedding, but they should. Everyone reacts differently to alcohol but hardly anyone is a good judge of their own character when they are drinking. Whether they ask or not, I always give this advice. It’s for the first dance at your wedding, but goes for any other time when you want to look your best during a dance you are presenting.
After you have practiced enough to feel fairly confident, invite a trusted friend over. Show them your dance. Have a drink. Do it again (the dance, not the drink). Ask the friend if they noticed a difference. If not, have a second drink. Repeat question.
What I often hear (before offering the advice) is “I’ll just have a drink beforehand and I’ll be more relaxed.” The thing is, for some people this may be true. You might feel more relaxed and your dance may reflect that. However, you might also think you look relaxed when in fact you look sloppy. You won’t notice the difference, but your sober friend will, and I guarantee it, so will your partner.
If you don’t have a friend you trust this much, ask someone to video you before and after each drink. This may be a good idea anyway as you can judge for yourself, but there is a danger in this. It’s human nature to notice the things that need work and not the overall picture when we see ourselves on video and it can be deflating if you are still working on the dance. If you think there is any danger of feeling upset and worried when you see your flaws, I strongly advise against the video. I have seen many many dances turn a corner at the last minute and look great at the wedding even when they were still stiff a week before.
Treat yourselves gently. Give yourselves the best possible circumstances when you do your first dance and it will be fabulous!
By LaurieAnn Lepoff
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